5 steps to create your online store
Internet shopping has increased exponentially in recent years and if you do not want to be left out of this new way of doing business here is a guide to start an online store.
According to some statistics in Mexico eCommerce sales represent $396,000 million pesos a year and it is expected that every year it will increase more, online stores are in a great moment, because there are more and more goods and services that we seek to acquire from the comfort of home, so it is a great idea to undertake through online sales, if you are interested here are 5 steps to start selling online.
1. Design a business plan
Before you start any project your main concern should be planning and if you are thinking of starting an online store it should not be the exception.
There are several steps you should take before starting your online store, the first thing you should do is make a business plan, in which you have to answer the following two questions:
What is your market?
If you still don’t know what you want to sell or the line of business you want to dedicate yourself to, but you have an open mind to any product, the first thing you should do is a market study to know which products have the greatest reach.
The best thing to do is to create a list of the products you usually buy and the products that are in the market niche you are most passionate about, and which are the best sellers of them. Setting up an online store is a process that takes a lot of work and dedication so it is best that you dedicate yourself to something you are passionate about.
What kind of online store do you want to set up?
An online store can take several forms and the best option depends on the type of product, business model you want to start with, and above all the time and capital you want to invest. For example, if you already have the products but do not have much capital you can start in a Marketplace or if you still do not have the products but you have time then you can opt for Dropshipping. Below we present each business model in more detail so that you can evaluate the best option.
Marketplace: if you want to start selling your own or third-party products but you have no idea how to set up an online store, it is best to use a marketplace platform such as Facebook, Conekta, or the most famous Amazon and Mercado Libre, because it is the best way to start offering your products on a platform that already has a fixed customer base. Besides, they are platforms that already have a well-established prestige.
Dropshipping: this business model is perfect if you want to start selling online and do not have much money to invest, as it consists of being the intermediary between wholesale suppliers and end customers, it is also a great idea if you do not have space to store products, as the seller will be responsible for receiving orders and deliver them directly to the customer. The only thing you have to invest time and money for is to make an attractive website that serves as a showcase for the wholesaler’s products, in addition to doing the marketing to achieve more sales. If you want to learn more about this business model you can read our post about it.
Online store this is the best option if you have a product or products of your own that you want to start selling. Also, it is the best option if you have the time and infrastructure to make the online platform and home deliveries. It is the most complete option because you can decide the price of the products and how much you want to earn on each of them, plus you have more control over your inventories. However, this option requires more effort and attention than the previous two, but definitely also gives a higher profit margin.
As you can imagine the first option does not require you to open a website to start selling your products, so the following steps are focused on teaching you how to open your own online store.
2. Register your domain
One of your first tasks to do when you have already decided to open your online store is to design and register your web domain, we have already talked a lot about how important it is to have your own web domain to start creating an assertive presence on the Internet, so setting aside the web address of your future store is the best way to start.
We have already mentioned in other posts how to create a web domain, but we want to remind you that the most important thing is that the domain reflects the name of your company and is easy to remember, as an extra recommendation it is best that you decide to use a .mx extension so that you appear in local searches. Once you have well defined the name of your domain, the next thing you have to do is to register it and check that it is available.
3. Choose the platform
If you think that to create a website you need a lot of knowledge in programming or web design let me tell you that luckily today there are several platforms that allow you to create a website easily. in many of them you just have to go dragging and selecting the elements you want to implement. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of our favorite platforms so you can choose the one that best suits your needs:
This is one of the most complete and economical online store builders as you can hire, as a basic plan from $29 a month, but with a 14-day free trial. It is the perfect creator for small eCommerce and for those who have no idea of design and programming because it has a very simple interface, where you only need to select the elements you need.
Its main features are three: upload your catalog in a short time and without many complications; you can add two payment methods Pay Pal and Autorize.net, but if you need other payment methods you will have to pay an extra fee to incorporate them, the third feature is that you can implement a shopping cart, which is a fundamental element to give an excellent user experience, but the best of this is that Shopify adds the option to recover cart that allows you to contact people who have abandoned the purchase shortly before closing to offer them some offers or encourage the purchase.
The cons of this platform are few and have to do with the extra fees for more features and that it has a very short variety of templates.
If you want to learn more in detail you can read this step by step guide to create your eCommerce on Shopify.
The next option is for those who have a larger business in mind, we refer to BigCommerce, because it has a wide variety of features and tools that can meet all the needs of medium and large businesses. One of its most important features is that it offers multichannel sales, which allows you to attract sales from the market places where you are present, keeping inventory operations in one place. It also has excellent SEO options that will help you position yourself.
The cons of this platform is that it puts a limit of sales per month, plus it may take you a little longer to build the online store because the tools can be a little more difficult to use.
You can read the step by step guide to create your store on BigCmmerce if you are convinced by this platform.
The next option is Magento, the most recommended for startups, it is a powerful tool that allows you to create both small and large stores. It is one of the most flexible platforms because it offers the most complete features, such as SEO, multiple payment gateways, plus several plugins, to create any online store you need.
The main problem is that you must know something about web development to use it, because the tools and design are much more complicated than the other options on the list. If you are interested in this option here you have a very complete step by step guide to start using it, however it is best to hire an expert so that everything goes perfectly.
4. Plan your delivery strategy
The next step you have to solve is to plan the home delivery strategy, which in fact is one of the pillars of Internet sales. One of the biggest concerns that your future customers may have been whether the product will arrive on time, in good condition and how much it will cost, so you should not ignore this important part of your strategy.
The best thing to do is to try to make free shipments, for this consider increasing the prices of your products, it seems counterproductive but regularly a free shipment is more attractive to buyers.
5. Create your marketing strategy
Finally, do not forget to design a marketing strategy, do not rely only on the SEO of your online store. If you are starting, a good idea is to create profiles on social networks and contact some small influencers to offer them your products in exchange for favorable reviews on their profiles.
As you can see, luckily nowadays it is becoming easier and easier to start an online store, so it’s just a matter of designing your strategies and getting started. Do you know another tip to get started with an online store?